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July 09, 2020, 7:00PM: Novice Presentation- Via Zoom

“You can almost touch the stars”

Spectroscopy for Amateur Astronomers

Tom Field

A person smiling for the cameraDescription automatically generatedEven if you wanted to touch a star, they’re all impossibly distant. Despite these great distances, astronomers have learned an enormous amount about stars. How? The most common method to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device. Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs.

Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture … or a big budget! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard?!

A picture containing person, man, holding, youngDescription automatically generated

This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. Even if you are an armchair astronomer, understanding this field will enhance your understanding of the things your read and the night sky. We’ll do a live Q&A after Tom’s 45-minute presentation.


Speaker Bio: Tom Field is has been a Contributing Editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine for the past 7 years. He is the author of the RSpec software (www.rspec-astro.com) which received the S&T “Hot Product” award in 2011. Tom is a popular speaker who has spoken to hundreds of clubs via the web at many conferences, including NEAF, the NEAF Imaging Conference, PATS, the Winter Star Party, the Advanced Imaging Conference, SCAE, and others. His enthusiastic style is lively and engaging. He promises to open the door for you to this fascinating field!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Since we're all practicing safe social distancing, we have decided to bring our June speaker to you virtually through the Zoom online meeting platform! You must register for this presentation in order to attend. You may do so by using the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwuc-mopz8iGtXRsGHLvyt6rC3PjMJddmy1

Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.  

We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions.  I'm excited that this we're able to get together in this fashion, and I hope you can join us then.  We hope to see you online with us on Thursday evening July 9th!

Joe Khalaf

President

Houston Astronomical Society

July 10, 2020, 7:00PM: HAS Meeting Main Speaker Presentation

Dr. Martin Huarte

Studying shining nebulae with telescopes, supercomputers and laboratory experiments

Dr Huarte is Associate Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute, University of Houston

Executive Director, Society of High Performance Computing Professionals

Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society

Alumni, University of Cambridge

Abstract – In this presentation, Dr. Huarte will give us an overview about very interesting collaborations between astronomers, computational scientists, and experimental physicists. These are three very different fields and being able to talk to each other has proved to be a great and fun challenge. You will learn about some very beautiful nebula in our Galaxy. How they are observed, where they are located, and the big question -at least for our group- is how they formed. To get into the details of the latter, Dr. Huarte will demonstrate some very cool super computing simulations and their data visualizations. He will also tell us how these simulations are all backed by telescope observations and Physics, but more recently also by plasma physics experiments. This is a very exciting and relatively new field. 

Dr. Huarte will end the talk by showing new observations from the ALMA observatory, and how our computer models do a good job in understanding the strange shape of the OH 231.8+4.2 nebula.

 

Bio –  Martin won a competitive scholarship to pursue a Doctorate degree at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he had the opportunity of taking some lectures from Prof. Stephen Hawking and other great scientists.

Martin’s Ph.D. dissertation used high performance computing (HPC) systems to model magnetized outflows like some observed to be ejected by very powerful, distant galaxies. In 2009 he was hired by the University of Rochester, Rochester NY, to co-develop the multi-physics, parallel, scalable, adaptive-mesh-refinement, HPC code called AstroBear. He also had a joint appointment as Senior Scientist/Application Developer at the Institute of Optics.

 

Martin’s Physics/HPC models and algorithms have produced several well cited publication in peer reviewed journals, including Science Magazine. He was elected a member of The Royal Astronomical Society of the UK in 2016, and has also being a member of The American Astronomical Society, The Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) SIGHPC Group, and The Society of HPC Professionals.

 

Huarte-Espinosa joined the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute as a High-Performance Computing (HPC) Specialist in 2014, where he provided consulting and training services to the community on technical and systematic computing and HPC methods for STEM research. As Associate Director, Huarte-Espinosa is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the HPE DSI and implements new campaigns and activities to realize the vision of the institute.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since we're all practicing safe social distancing, we have decided to bring our June speaker to you virtually through the Zoom online meeting platform! You must register for this presentation in order to attend. You may do so by using the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqcequrTIuHNAakXzUFcgeJ9T1V9bCzXM6

Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.  

We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions.  I'm excited that this we're able to get together in this fashion, and I hope you can join us then.  We hope to see you online with us on Thursday evening July 10th!

Joe Khalaf

President

Houston Astronomical Society

July 13, 2020, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

August 08, 2020, 7:30PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent, but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

8:15-9:15 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
9:15-9:45 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
9:45-11:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

August 10, 2020, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

August 11, 2020, 7:00PM: Loaner Scope Training

Allen is back! Allen Wilkerson, Loaner Scope Chairperson, will conduct hands on training for the basic tools you need to begin serious astronomical observing. Included is nomenclature of telescope parts, setting up the Dobsonian telescope, and aligning the finder and Telrad. Also included are star charts and how to read them, Telrad operation and use, star hopping (by star chart), and Newtonian telescope collimation.
Date: Tuesday August 11, 2020
Time: 7–8:30 PM
Location: Trini Mendenhall Community Center 1414 Wirt Rd. Classroom assigned by the TMCC Staff, so check the room listing board as you walk in.
RSVP: Email Allen Wilkerson at [email protected] to reserve your spot.The first 10 members to respond will be verified and contacted to confirm their spot in class.

Note: If requested, instruction on the basics of setting up a GEM (Gerrman Equatorial Mount or polar mount) can be arranged. Please let Allen know in your email that you’d like this training.

August 13, 2020, 12:00PM: UbarU Star Party 8/13-16

Members: Save the Date!

Let us hear from you! The 2020 UBarU Star Party is scheduled for August 13 - 16 and preparations are well under way. Astrophysicist Dr. Angela Speck, Chair of the UTSA Physics and Astronomy Department, will be one of our featured speakers at the event. Dr. Speck is also Co-Chair of the National Total Eclipse Task Force. We also have returning featured speakers: astrophysicist Dr. Amanda Bayless of the Southwestern Research Institute , and Dr. Kim Arvidsson, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Schreiner University. We expect to add at least one more distinguished speaker in the next few months.

In addition to the star parties, the event will include: astronomy lectures, meals, lodging, and more, all offered at our IDA-certified Dark-Sky Park facility in Mountain Home,
Texas. In order to maintain IDA Dark-Sky Park requirements and to reasonably accommodate those who participate, registration will be limited such that no more than 100 persons.

September 07, 2020, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

September 12, 2020, 7:00PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent, but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

7:45-8:45 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
8:45-9:15 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
9:15-11:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

October 05, 2020, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

October 10, 2020, 6:30PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent, but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

7:15-8:15 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
8:15-8:45 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
8:45-11:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 12 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

November 07, 2020, 5:00PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent (if warm) or warm clothing (if cold), but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

5:45-6:45 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations.
6:45-7:15 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
7:15-9:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 10 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

November 09, 2020, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

November 10, 2020, 7:00PM: Loaner Scope Training

Allen is back! Allen Wilkerson, Loaner Scope Chairperson, will conduct hands on training for the basic tools you need to begin serious astronomical observing. Included is nomenclature of telescope parts, setting up the Dobsonian telescope, and aligning the finder and Telrad. Also included are star charts and how to read them,Telrad operation and use, star hopping (by star chart), and Newtonian telescope collimation.
Date: Tuesday November 10, 2020
Time: 7–8:30 PM
Location: Trini Mendenhall Community Center 1414 Wirt Rd. Classroom assigned by the TMCC Staff, so check the room listing board as you walk in.
RSVP: Email Allen Wilkerson at [email protected] to reserve your spot.The first 10 members to respond will be verified and contacted to confirm their spot in class.

Note: If requested, instruction on the basics of setting up a GEM (Gerrman Equatorial Mount or polar mount) can be arranged. Please let Allen know in your email that you’d like this training.

December 05, 2020, 4:45PM: Novice Lab at the Dark Site

Join us at the Dark Site for a hands-on course for learning to navigate the night sky. Make sure as always to bring your red flashlights and insect repellent (if warm) or warm clothing (if cold), but also be sure to bring a folding chair to sit in, and some paper and pen/pencil. Schedule of activities is as follows:

5:30-6:30 - detailed presentation on general sky mechanics plus a tour of the constellations
6:30-7:00 - constellation sketching - we will all begin working on the AL's Constellation Hunter program together
7:00-9:30 - everyone will get the opportunity to locate various objects manually using my 10" dob.
The program concludes in time for anyone who wishes to leave at the 10 am light window. But of course, anyone is welcome to stay longer and observe.

Please RSVP to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) so that we know how many people will be there for the class.  Clear skies!

December 07, 2020, 7:30PM: VSIG Meeting via Zoom

Interested in visual observing?  Join the monthly Zoom meeting of the HAS Visual Special Interest Group (VSIG). Come to discuss your own observing projects, get advice from seasoned observers regarding visual observing, or just hang out and listen.  All knowledge and skill levels are welcome.  Zoom meeting info will be sent out via the VSIG email list server.  Just sent me an email at [email protected] to get on the list. Clear skies to you all!

-Stephen Jones – VSIG Moderator 

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